United Quest Blue
This page was last updated on March 19, 2000
Vulcan Cup Tournament (March, 2000)
We played in the U-14 Athena division (top competitive level), group A, along with the Alabama Angels '86 (from the host club) and the Germantown Fury (Memphis area).
The tournament started with "round-robin" group play, where each team plays every other team. The top two teams in the group moved into the knock-out round against teams from group B, which included the Attack '86 White (Birmingham), the Brentwood Wildcats (Tennessee) and Jackson FC (Mississippi).
Standings were based on the tournament's point system: 6 points for a win, 3 for a tie, 1 for a shutout and 1 for each goal scored (maximum of 3 per game).
Heavy rains on Friday night and Saturday morning caused schedule problems. Fields were closed Saturday morning, so games were rescheduled for the afternoon and shortened into "mini" games with 20- or 15-minutes halves. On Saturday, the Quest tied the Alabama Angels 2-2, then lost 3-0 to the Germantown Fury. The Angels beat the Fury 1-0 (a surprise to all Quest players and parents), which knocked the Quest into Sunday's consolation game against the Attack '86 White. The weather cleared by Sunday, and the Quest finished with a dominating 4-0 in a full game (30-minute halves).
Here is our schedule. You can click on a result to see a detailed game report.
|Saturday, Mar. 11||
|Mt. Brook Elementary||Alabama Angels '86||Tied 2-2|
|Saturday, Mar. 11||
|Mt. Brook Elementary||Germantown Fury||Lost 3-0|
|Sunday, Mar. 12||
|U. of Montevallo #2||Attack '86 White||Won 4-0|
Return to main page
Game 1: Tied 2-2 vs. Alabama Angels '86
This is our first-ever game against an Alabama team. The Angels are the top U-14 Athena team from the host Mountain Brook Soccer Club. They play in Alabama's Mid-State Soccer League in the U-15/16 division (the equivalent of Georgia's Athena "A" division).
A big storm came through Birmingham Friday night and dumped a bunch of rain on the fields, and the rains continued through the morning. The end result was that the tournament committee had to postpone the morning games and reschedule them as shortened games in the afternoon. So instead of a full game at 8:00 AM, we ended up playing a game with 20-minute halves at 12:00 Noon.
The Quest controlled the opening minutes through quick attacks up the wings. The Angels didn't get into the Quest end until several minutes into the game. The rest of the half was back-and-forth, with both teams creating some decent chances. But neither team was able to score. Halftime came with the score tied 0-0.
Three minutes into the second half, Elisa pressured the Angels sweeper, who played a pass back to her keeper. With puddles all over the field, this was a big mistake. The keeper rushed out to clear the ball, and Elisa rushed in to pressure her. As the ball rolled toward the keeper, it hit a puddle and stopped short just as the keeper swung her leg. This resulted in a weak clearance. The ball got by Elisa and was rolling slowly upfield toward the sweeper a few yards outside the penalty area. Elisa turned quickly and beat the sweeper to the ball. She shielded it and took a quick shot on the turn with her left foot. Her shot was right on target. The Angels keeper wasn't able to recover in time, and the ball went into the empty net. Goal Quest and a 1-0 lead. Elisa deserves credit for her alertness and hustle. This was a classic "opportunistic" goal.
The Angels fought back and scored four minutes later to tie the game 1-1. The goal came from the follow-up of an Angels corner kick.
The game was now an exciting end-to-end contest, with both teams looking dangerous. With five minutes left, the Quest earned a corner kick. Elisa took the kick from the left corner. She struck it nicely, but the Angels defense was able to knock it out. But the clearance went directly back to Elisa. She controlled the ball about a yard off the goal line, saw a sliver of an opportunity, then shot low and hard toward the near post. She must have only had about a 12" opening. Her aim was perfect, and her shot blew past the Angels defenders and keeper and into the goal. Goal Quest and a 2-1 lead!
The Angels didn't waver, and they lived up to their name by starting some attacks of their own. Two minutes after the Quest's goal, the Angels scored again to tie the game 2-2. An Angels player sent a lofted ball from the right side toward the back post. A teammate had found space behind the Quest defense and was wide open to knock the ball into the goal.
Three minutes remained in the rain-shortened game. Both teams were playing for a win, but neither could hit a game-winner. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.
Under the tournament scoring system, the Quest earned 5 points: 3 for the tie and 2 for goals scored.
Return to main page
Game 2: lost 3-0 vs. Germantown Fury
This was our first game against the Fury, who come from the Germantown Soccer Club in the Memphis area.
The tournament schedule was still backed up after the morning delays. To make up lost time, this game would be further shortened from 20-minute halves to 15-minute halves.
The Fury had more of the play in the first half. They had an excellent attacking player who was hard to stop. She got free for a couple of open shots. But her shooting wasn't as strong as the rest of her game, and she missed badly.
The Fury scored late in the first half after a lengthy buildup. After several passes, they found an open player on the right side. The Quest didn't pressure her, and she had an open shot. She didn't score, but she put the ball into the goal area and it fell to a teammate who knocked it in from short distance to give the Fury a 1-0 lead. Halftime came soon afterwards.
The Fury struck twice in the second half to take a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes to play. One goal came on a breakaway and another came from a well-placed shot to the far post.
In tournament play, goals scored are huge. So even though time was running out, a 3-1 Quest loss would be much, much better than a 3-0 loss. The Quest found new life, and for the first time in the game the Quest started to consistently generate good attacks. The Quest regularly worked the ball in and around the Fury penalty area, but never found a shot. It was a textbook case of "one touch too many" or "one pass too many."
The game ended with the Fury winning 3-0. The shutout loss meant no points for the Quest.
The Fury would meet the Angels later in the day. The Fury's win over the Quest assured them a spot in the semi-finals. The other spot was still up in the air between the Quest and Angels. If the Fury beat the Angels by a score of 4-0 or better, the Quest would qualify for the semis. If the Angels scored any goals (even if they lost), they would qualify for the semis.
The Angels went on to beat the Fury 1-0 (a surprise to Quest players and parents) to win the group with 13 points. The Fury finished 2nd with 10 points, while the Quest finished 3rd with 5 points. In the other group, Brentwood finished 1st, Jackson FC was 2nd and the Attack '86 White was 3rd. The Angels would play Jackson FC in one semi-final, with the Fury facing Brentwood in the other. The Quest would play the Attack '86 White (a Birmingham team) in the consolation game.
Return to main page
Game 3: Won 4-0 vs. Attack '86 White
This was our first game against the Attack. They are the #2 U-14 Athena team from the Attack Soccer Club in Birmingham. They play in Alabama's Mid-State Soccer League in the U-13/14 Girls A division (the equivalent of Georgia's Athena "B" division).
The weather had cleared since Saturday, and the tournament was back on schedule. This meant we'd be able to play a full game (30-minute halves).
The Quest took the initiative from the opening whistle and pinned the Attack deep in their own end. Most of the first half was played in the Attack's defensive third of the field. The Attack wasn't creating any offense, but their defense did a good job of keeping the Quest from getting any clear shots.
The Quest's closest call came when Alex almost scored directly from a corner kick from the left side. She took advantage of a strong wind and tried to bend the ball into the far corner of the goal, but just barely missed.
Christina seemed to win every single Attack clearance, and the Quest kept pressuring the Attack defense. It was just a matter of time until the Quest would find the goal.
In the 18th minute, Elisa got open for a pass in the center of the field, a few yards outside the Attack penalty area. She played a quick pass into Amanda's run from her left forward position. The Attack right defender got her foot on the ball, but wasn't able to clear it. Amanda won the loose ball and took a touch toward goal. By now she was only 6 yards out from the goal. She shot low and away from the keeper to score easily. Goal Quest and a 1-0 lead!
The Quest kept up the pressure. In the 27th minute, the Quest scored again on a highlight-film goal.
The play started when the Attack keeper made a save and took a punt. Kaelen hustled back to win the ball in the air, playing it with her thigh toward the center midfield area. Alex got a touch on the ball, but an Attack player came in strong to knock it away. Alex was just able to get a toe on the ball, sending a short square pass to Jessica in the left midfield area. Jessica controlled it and waited for a defender to commit to her, then she passed to Amanda at left forward. Amanda beat one defender, then absolutely blew by another as if she was shot out of a cannon. Her change-of-pace on this run was incredible!
Amanda dribbled to the goal line, which drew the Attack keeper to the near post. Amanda then struck a simple left-footed ground ball cross back away from the goal line. Rachel was in perfect position in the center of the goal area and hit an easy left-footed tap-in shot into the open goal. Goal Quest and a 2-0 lead!
Five Quest players combined on this play. It started with hustle and finished with picture-perfect execution. Well done girls!
Halftime came with the Quest leading 2-0. The Quest had a fairly strong wind at their backs in the first half, but would now be going into the wind in the second half. The big question was whether or not the headwind would hurt the Quest offense.
The short answer was "not much." The second half had much more midfield play than the first, but the Quest still controlled most of the play.
Nine minutes in, the Attack defense blocked a shot from Elisa, then a follow-up shot from Kaelen just outside the penalty area. Kaelen's shot rebounded directly to Jessica on the right side. Jessica saw the "dream ball" opportunity and drove a first-time shot high and hard into the top center of the Attack goal. Goal Quest and a 3-0 lead!
The Quest began to shuffle their lineup, and Meagan got a chance to move from her normal sweeper position to the forward line. She thrives on these brief opportunities at forward. In the 14th minute, Rachael beat her defender on the left side and drew the Attack center defender toward her. Meagan was now wide open in the center of the penalty area. Rachael saw the chance and played a quick pass to Meagan. Meagan wasn't about to let this chance go to waste, and she struck a controlled shot low into the corner of the goal. Goal Quest and a 4-0 lead!
The Attack deserve credit for never caving in. They fought back hard in the closing minutes and generated several promising attacks. Big J didn't touch the ball the entire first half, but she was forced to make a few saves in the late stages of the second half. But it was too little and too late. The game ended with the Quest winning 4-0.
The Quest ended the tournament on a strong note, winning in their most dominating display since the fall.
Return to main page
|1st - Alabama Angels '86 (13 points)||1st - Brentwood Wildcats (? points)|
|2nd - Germantown Fury (10 points)||2nd - Jackson FC (? points)|
|3rd - United Quest Blue (5 points)||3rd - Attack '86 White (? points)|
Return to main page
Return to main page